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June 20, 2022 4 min read

We love the sun. 

A sunny day feels good. Sun on our skin has a special warmth.  There’s the marvel of a sunrise to mark the beginning of a new day.  Of course, how about watching the perfect sunset. 

Healthline’s sun expert, Rachel Nall, explains the chemical reactions our bodies have to sunlight, “Did you know the right balance can have lots of mood-lifting benefits? Sunlight and darkness trigger the release of hormones in your brain. Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin is associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused. At night, darker lighting triggers the brain to make another hormone called melatonin. This hormone is responsible for helping you sleep. Without enough sun exposure, your serotonin levels can dip. Low levels of serotonin are associated with a higher risk of major depression with seasonal pattern (formerly known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD). This is a form of depression triggered by the changing seasons.”

In addition to its mood boosting properties, the sun has many other health benefits.  The sun helps to:

  • Build strong bones
  • Cancer prevention
  • Promote healthy skin

Sun expert Rachel Nall summaries these benefits well.

Strong bones: “Exposure to the ultraviolet-B radiation in the sun’s rays causes a person’s skin to create vitamin D.  The vitamin D made thanks to the sun plays a big role in bone health. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to rickets in children and bone-wasting diseases like osteoporosis and osteomalacia.”

Cancer prevention: “Although excess sunlight can contribute to skin cancers, a moderate amount of sunlight actually has preventive benefits when it comes to cancer. According to researchers, those who live in areas with fewer daylight hours are more likely to have some specific cancers than those who live where there’s more sun during the day. These cancers include colon cancer, ovarian cancer, and prostate cancer.”

Healthy skin:  “Sun exposure might help treat several skin conditions, too. Doctors have recommended UV radiation exposure to treat psoriasis, eczema, and acne.  While light therapy isn’t for everyone, a dermatologist can recommend whether light treatments will benefit your specific skin concerns.” 

Moderation is key

Like most things in life, there’s a balance to the right amount of sun. Thanks to research, we’ve learned that too much sun can be harmful. Exposure to harmful UV rays can lead to:

  • Higher risk of developing skin cancer
  • Skin discoloration and uneven skin tone
  • Signs of premature aging

What isn’t as well known is that too much sun can be bad for hair, too.

What you need to know about sun and hair? 

According to a 2019 study published by the National Institutes of Health, UV rays can damage hair and hurt the hair follicle.

Women’s Health’s Sophie Cullen explains, “Just like the skin on the rest of our body, the skin on the scalp can burn in the sun, which can lead to a higher risk of skin cancer. According to “Human Hair as a Natural Sun Protection Agent,” a 2015 National Library of Medicine published study, hair does provide a level of protection for the scalp, but the amount of protection depends on the density of the hair, and it doesn’t provide full protection.”

How to protect your hair and scalp?

  • Invest in a great hair protector.
  • Use an SPF spray on your part and hairline.

Our favorite way to take care of summer hair is ANTIDOTE Goldenseal Hair Protector. With ANTIDOTE Goldenseal Hair Protector, you can protect hair and preserve color from sun damage. 

What can this product do for you? Our #1 reason for using this product is that Golden seal extract + Shea butter guard against UV exposure. In addition, the formula:

  • Reduces tangles + condition hair. 
  • Protects color-treated hair
  • Lowers drying time.

And like all ANTIDOTE hair care products, it is vegan, cruelty free, and safe for color treated hair.

To use it, just mist throughout clean, towel-dried hair prior to styling.

You’ll also want to use a spray sunblock to cover your part and along your hairline before going outside. Hair does provide some sun protection to your scalp, but look for spots where your hair isn’t going to give you coverage. A good rule of thumb is if you are putting on sunscreen elsewhere, put some on your head, too.

Keep the planet in mind

Like we always say at ANTIDOTE “64% of what you put on your skin gets absorbed you’re your body and 100% ends up in our streams, rivers, and oceans.” So, always look for a coral reef friendly sunscreen - look for ones that are Oxybenzone & Octinoxate Free.  Traditional sunscreens block coral’s ability to access the sunlight that they need. As a result, coral reefs all over the world are dying. Fortunately, there are tons of reef friendly options out there. In our experience, these reef friendly formulas also feel better on our skin. Our favorite site for information on sunscreens is Environmental Working Group. Check out their sunscreen guide here.

Not feeling like sunscreen?

Avoiding sun exposure can be as simple as wearing a fun hat or colorful scarf.  There are tons of fun hat options. Go retro or keep it simple with your favorite baseball cap. 

We hope that you found something interesting here. Let us know what you think! We love hearing from you.

Looking for more summer hair tips? Check out our blog post “Inside Scoop on Summer Hair Care” to learn about our 3-must have tips for summer.

Happy Summer!

Abigail + David

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